Motoring enthusiasts across Britain mourned the passing of the Monaro. The only Australian-built car to be sold in the UK offered raw and exciting performance thanks to its 6.0-litre V8 and rear-wheel drive set up.
But the thunder from down under hasn’t stopped yet – in fact it’s only going to get louder. Vauxhall has announced the arrival of a new Aussie musclecar – the VXR8 – and it’s more powerful and exciting than even the legendary Monaro.
The dramatic-looking new saloon is powered by the same 6.0-litre V8 as the outgoing Monaro VXR, but revisions to the engine have made it even more efficient. It now develops a massive 420PS and 550Nm of torque, giving it enough grunt to sprint from 0-60mph in just 4.9 seconds. No other supercar offers this sort of power for anywhere near the VXR8’s price.
Yet the VXR8, based on Australia ’s Holden HSV Clubsport R8, offers more in the way of practicality than the outgoing Monaro, with four doors and space for all the family.
Although practical, with a spacious boot, comfortable, long-legged cruising ability and luxuries such as climate control and leather trim, the VXR8 is certainly no softie. Driver aids such as the stability system and traction control can be turned off at the flick of a switch – perfect for drivers who want to hone their skills on a track day!
And VXR8 goes as well as it stops, too, with powerful 365mm front disc brakes that slow the car down from 60mph to a standstill faster than a Lamborghini Murcielago or BMW M5.
In response to customer demand, the VXR8 will also be the first VXR model to be offered with an automatic gearbox. In order to maintain the control which VXR buyers require, the optional £1,400 self-shifter has a manual override and a sport setting which ensure the performance isn’t blunted – in fact the auto is only half a second slower to 60mph than the manual!
Satellite navigation and 20-inch wheels will be offered as options for those who want to make their VXR8 look more distinctive and help find their way to the best driving roads. Even with all the option boxes ticked however, the VXR8 is still around half the price of other cars with comparable performance. As all fast car fans know, Aussie rules……